Blogs > Cliopatria > Scott McClellan on the Hot Seat

Jul 27, 2005 8:57 pm

Scott McClellan on the Hot Seat

White House spokesman Scott McClellan either lied to the press corps or he was lied to by Rove 2 years ago when he dismissed speculation that anybody in the White House was behind the leak of Plame's identity. Either way his credibility is shot. He'll have to go. Probably, to save face (and this is thought to be a Japanese phenomenon?), the White House will wait until another issue has taken hold and then quietly announce that he is moving on "to spend more time with his family" or some such thing.

The focus on Rove has obscured this secondary story involving McClellan, but it is actually critical. It is hard to believe that Mclellan knew the truth of Rove's involvement and lied about it. Much more likely is that Rove lied to him. If that in fact happened then Mclellan must be doing another form of lying--he may be lying awake at night wondering if he was set up by Rove. If he reaches this conclusion he will have to resign or face the humiliating truth that he is a stoodge. If he takes himself seriously he can't reach tha conclusion, I'm guessing, so he'll resign. He may even leak some unfavorable information about Rove.

McClellan is unlikely to seek open revenge against Rove. That could put the career of his brother, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in jeopardy. But he can't sit and do nothing. He would have to be a chump to do that.

It is possible of course that McClellan was not lied to by Rove. McClellan, new to the job as press secretary 2 years ago when he made his strong defense of the White House, may have simply been vamping. But even if that was the case, surely he would have expected Rove to tell him the truth as soon as he returned from the pressroom.

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